Editor's note: Former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan writes a weekly column for Seattle Weekly, our sister paper, a sample of which you can see below. Also check out our excerpts from his memoir, It's So Easy.
In truth, you can't really compare these two very different municipalities. Seattle is a place that people like I have grown up in, have roots in, and defend to a point of hilarity. Conversely, Los Angeles — the city I spend part of my life in — is a place people move to. They move there to get something from that town. “I wanna be a STAR!” . . . or something.
As a result, L.A. is a very transient town. There are good people everywhere, for sure, and L.A. is no different, but the cliché of the whispered-but-never-followed-up-on “I'll call you” did start in Los Angeles for a reason. There are so damn many people here in such fluxes of varying careers that the “I'll call you” deal has become just a way of saying “Good to see you.”
Seattle is too small a burg to not follow up on an offer of an agreed-upon phone call. You will see that person again, probably sooner than later. If you say you are going to call someone up here, you'd better do it. So, with these guidelines as a sort of benchmark, here are 10 things that Seattle could stand to take note of from Los Angeles:
1. Wear sunglasses more often. Yes, I know we don't have the 280 days of sun that L.A. has, but it doesn't mean you can't just don some shades to look cool in at all times. Heck, they wear sunglasses in clubs and restaurants at night down in Los Angeles.
2. Clubs: Put bands on earlier. When a band says they are headlining and going on at 10 p.m. in L.A., it actually means 10 p.m. and not 12:30 a.m.!
3. More tax incentives for film crews. Movies and shows actually being filmed in our town will bring more dollahs. Money is good for our town. We got a little full of ourselves after Singles and Sleepless in Seattle, and pulled some of these good tax breaks for film companies. Now all you see is a flyover shot of Seattle on Grey's Anatomy or The Killing. The rest is filmed in Hollywood or Canada.
4. Make something up about yourselves. Say you went to Harvard or are a model/actor. Flower that shit up!
5. Don't use your damn blinkers all the time. I know it's an easy mechanism to use, and does inform other drivers of your impending intention . . . but how boring!
6. Start up a new business for maps to stars' homes. Hell, we've got music and technology stars aplenty up here. And really, they don't have to be the real “stars' ” homes. It works every time!
7. Get a good New York Jewish deli. In L.A. they have Canter's and Jerry's deli, just to name two . . . open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year.
8. Get a damn NBA basketball team. We need our Seattle Sonics back home . . . so that we can have a rival in the Lakers again!
9. Get an arena. Staples has done pretty well for downtown L.A., if you ask me.
10. Move to the Valley. It is now all hip and cool. Oh, not the San Fernando Valley here in L.A. (which is hip and cool now too). No, the RAINIER Valley, which is the hippest and coolest that Seattle currently has to offer.
11. Start more indoor playgrounds for your kids. In L.A., they're all over the place, and it's sunny! In Seattle, all the playgrounds are outdoors! Indoor playgrounds should be everywhere!
Excerpt From Duff McKagan's New Memoir, Part I: Guns N' Roses Finds Their Identity, Somewhere Between Metal And “Cow-Punk”
Excerpt From Duff McKagan's New Memoir, Part II: “People would throw cigarettes at us and spit on us.”